Come and Play in Shiregreen!

Claire Davis is a Community Facilitator for Shiregreen. You will see her around the neighbourhood sharing news on what’s going on around Shiregreen and delivering exciting activities this summer! We caught up Claire to find out about her project and she gave us some movements to get you up and about whilst reading. Follow the instruction below every time you come across the words…

  • What’s My Game – do 5-star jumps
  • Children – reach for the sky
  • Moving – run on the spot for 10 seconds
  • Evidence – spin around
  • Traditional – hop on one leg for 5 jumps
  • Thanks – go for a local walk

I deliver the What’s My Game project, which is basically a nationwide attempt to get children more active through play.

A bit about the background to the role… According to the evidence, children are now playing in ways that are more inactive than it used to be. Computers, X-boxes, phones, all contribute to them sitting down for long periods, and while they’re sitting, they’re not moving much.

Remember the days when kids left the house at 9 am and came back for tea at 6 pm? Remember playing for hours on the streets – building dens and roller skating? For lots of children, those days are gone.

The results of this change in play are being researched and monitored. Many parents feel that their kids don’t get enough fresh air and exercise and wish things could go back to how they used to be. But at the same time, they worry about the dangers of letting the kids back on the streets.

What is play? Play is imagination, collaboration, role play, practising for life, learning, communication, moving, reaching, thinking and vital to a child’s development. Some people think that the move away from traditional ways of playing is just part of life and can’t be changed. Others think our children are missing out.

My role is the brainchild of Sanctuary Housing who saw the project as a way of researching their communities and finding out what works and what doesn’t in getting children more active. Sport England is also part of this research and is keen to hear about what people say.

My job is to ask questions and try things. It’s a job of exploration and trial and in practice. It means remembering that the word fun is and should be at the heart of anything we offer to children.

So far, we’ve learnt a lot about what gets families out and what doesn’t. It’s a 4 years project and it’s early days. I look forward to spending time in the Shiregreen neighbourhood. Thanks for reading!